FAA Launches ATC Recruiting Campaign


The FAA launched its “Be ATC” recruiting campaign this week with the goal of hiring its “next generation” of aircraft traffic controllers. The application window will be open from June 24 to 27 for U.S. citizens who meet the agency’s eligibility requirements, which include the ability to speak English clearly, being no older than 30 and having have either three years of general work experience or four years of education leading to a bachelor’s degree. Applicants will also need to pass the Air Traffic Skills Assessment (ATSA) along with a list of pre-employment requirements such as a medical examination, security investigation and drug test. 

“As aerospace technology continues to grow, we need people to join the FAA to ensure our airspace continues to be the safest in the world,” said FAA Deputy Administrator Bradley Mims. “We are looking for a diverse pool of candidates who are ready to rise to the challenge and become air traffic controllers.”

The FAA hired 509 new air traffic controllers last year, expanding its controller workforce to around 14,000 people in fiscal year 2021. The agency reports that its controllers handle an average of 45,000 flights a day including more than 5,000 aircraft in the skies at once during peak times. According to the FAA, it is looking to hire more than 4,800 controllers over the next five years.

Kate O'Connor
Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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  1. “…for U.S. citizens…”

    What? THIS Administration? How discriminatory.

    (Maybe a birth certificate from Hawaii will be acceptable?)

      • Ted Cruz was born in Canada…and illegally retained dual citizenship past age 18… until he decided to run for president…and THEN he declared “I Forgot” …and belatedly dropped his escape/parachute Canadian citizenship to run for office…since being a LIAR qualifies one for elective office.

      • Ah, thanks for the name calling. That’s always a good logical retort.

        Clearly going off topic, but…

        … you can go to search.brave.com and find the facts for yourself about why McCain and McRomney were citizens by law. (Hint: BOTH parents were American citizens.)

        Even if you aren’t swayed by facts, I go by “Actions speak louder than words.”

        We’ll have to disagree whether the United States was better off while someone who’s allegiance to our country was never in doubt, vs someone who’s allegiance was (and still is) in doubt. And THAT is why there is a requirement for Controllers to be U.S. Citizens. (Someone who hates our country could do a LOT of harm as a high level Air Traffic Controller. Think 9/11.)

  2. I think that the age requirement is discrimination in itself. As is letting go perfectly good pilots in commercial aviation at a certain age.

  3. What with lockdowns and all, requiring three years of general work experience will make filling their quotas more difficult than would seem at first glance. Then there’s the drug testing…

  4. No one wants the job. My company (an FAA contractor) can’t get qualified applicants to replace those that have left for greener pastures. We’ve been one controller short since November, and we were told last week there is no one in the pipeline. I’m tired of overtime.

    • Remote Towers to the rescue? (Per a story from AvWeb last week, for which I have no link.)